As a consultant I’ve been thrust into my share of failing projects. One particularly notable one involved a CIO and their pet DBA. The project was over a year behind schedule and the DBA was the project manager, system architect and general nuisance. This DBA had convinced the CIO that they were the Alpha and Omega, Yin and Yang of technology and project management with all others viewed as imposters to their throne.
Of course, the nice chunk of government cash this individual was raking in on a monthly basis probably had a lot to do with the negative progress that the project had undergone up to that point where I stepped into the storyline. I of course didn’t realize what I was getting into when I was dumped off at the client with only a handshake and a grin.
The story ended badly as we all suspected. The CIO was given the boot by an oversight committee, finally. The DBA, well they moved on to greener government pastures behind the wheel of a 750L, but not before being shown the door by the new, mandated CIO…
Speaking of CIO’s, CIO Magazine has a nice article, if a little old, on How to Spot a Failing Project. It gives a decent overview of some warning signs and gut checks that a Project Manager can use to see if it’s time to swing the wheel hard to starboard before the project plows into the iceberg dead ahead.
I have also have a copy of the article in .pdf format for those of you who want a non-html version for their records. I included the direct link to the CIO site, since the article there has comments that add value and additional viewpoints.